Chris Douglas

On the topic of Polls....

Filed By Chris Douglas | June 05, 2006 9:20 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement

I notice today that AOL has a poll running on President Bush's priorities. Like polls conducted by the Indianapolis Star, it reveals that Americans (and Hoosiers are no different) assign a very low priority to the "threat" of our achieving the equal protection of the marriage contract.

The poll doesn't ask whether AOL members are "Fer" or "Agin" gay marriage; rather it asks whether members really care. This question is every bit as important . Imagine polling Hoosiers: Are you for or against the practice of keeping kosher (certainly a religious right) or inter-racial marriage or inter-racial adoption or any number of topics. I have an uneasy feeling that most Hoosiers, forced to a decision, would come down against the rights of a minority, without thinking of the actual human cost of indulging their prejudices so mindlessly. But asked instead: "How important would such a ban be to you?" , I have the very comfortable feeling that Hoosiers would say: "Not very important to me at all".

Indeed, that is what we have seen in poll after poll, and what is now occuring this evening on AOL. Over 200,000 members have voted so far, and what are they saying? 66 % are saying that same sex marriage should fall at or near the bottom of the president's priorities, and 60% say the president has handled the topic poorly. Only 19% say the topic should rank appropriate at or near the top of the president's priorities. (I've noticed that the responses of AOL members to these online polls come fairly close to mirroring the population as a whole.)

Not scientific, but this AOL poll is consistent with polls here in Indiana, revealed in past polls by the Indianapolis Star showing Hoosier ranking the topic of same sex marriage very low in priority. Whatever their views of same sex marriage, it's time decent Hoosiers abandoned their silence. A small segment of the population, mobilized by bigotry, is attempting an outrageous trespass upon the the rights of law-abiding gay citizens to the equal protections of the laws guaranteed by the State and Federal Constitutions to all citizens. 80-90% of AOL members prioritize the Iraqi war, the economy, and defense against terrorism as the proper functions of government. Its time this overwhelming majority of Americans stood up to the bigotry and bullying of this 19% minority waging nothing less than constitutional aggression against fellow Americans.

Those who press these amendments are a disgrace to the American tradition of liberty. So too are those who remain silent in the face of this aggression against Constitutional liberty.

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Yes, furthermore they never ask "are you against gay marriage?" but "Are you in favor of it?" As with your example of keeping kosher, I suspect that a large majority of Hoosiers would say that they are not in favor of keeping kosher. One would be wrong to assume that they meant we need a Constitutional amendment to ban the practice.

It is incorrect to assume that everone who is not "in favor" of gay marriage, is opposed to it.